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You can check out Motor Trend's article on the future Mazda vehicles at http://www.motortrend.com/april01/mazda/mazda_f.html
Overall, I like my Protege. I have experienced a lot of problems and premature wear that is probably my fault. I bought the Protege because of it's sporty driving dynamics. I just figured that a car with that type of dynamics would be built to withstand that type of driving, but I was wrong. It is still, in fact, an economy car. Cars like the Miata and RX-7 are equipped with heavier-duty performance parts that can withstand spirited driving...
As far as my comment that I would never buy a Mazda again... I lied. I just need to stick with sports cars if I want to drive like I'm in one. A car with a larger engine would probably be better for me as well, as you don't have to push it as hard. Let's face it... the Protege is quick, but you have to push it. Something like the Pontiac Grand Prix GTP with its supercharged V6 is mighty fast and even I wouldn't push it very hard...
Is there anyone else here that's wondered why the Protege is geared so low in 5th gear? During my 10 hour trip to northern California a few months ago, I got really tired of 4,000rpm. Imagine how much better fuel mileage would be if the engine spun about 1,000rpm less on the freeway... It is no wonder that the Protege is near the bottom of it's class for fuel mileage. The Dodge Neon's 150hp 2.0L gets 27/33, the Civic's 127hp 1.7L gets 32/37, and the Corolla 125hp 1.8L gets 32/41. All of those cars have similar performance and weigh about the same as the Protege. Come on Mazda... these cars get even better mileage than the 1.6L in the DX and LX...
of course this isn't broadcast live.. so the results for the race are probably available at their website.. but please don't post the results! thanks!
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